Avenue of Honour

Ms GRALEY(Narre Warren South) — My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Roads and Road Safety and concerns Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road. The action I seek is that the minister include the planting of an avenue of honour along this road as part of the upgrade works.

The long-awaited and much-needed upgrade of Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road is fast approaching completion. It is a project that I and members of the local community campaigned for over many years. We forced the previous government to match Labor’s commitment to duplicate the road, and soon local residents will benefit from shorter travel times, less congestion and safer driving conditions. This project also provides us with a fantastic opportunity to create a lasting and heartfelt tribute to those who sacrificed so much so that we may live peacefully and freely in this great country.

Victoria has a proud history of celebrating and recognising the sacrifice and service of those who served our country. I regularly attend Anzac Day ceremonies at the Berwick RSL and at many local schools. Our community has great respect and admiration for those who fought for us, and many of our young people are keeping this tradition alive and strong. Once there were more than 325 avenues of honour throughout our state, but today there are just over 50 that are actively cared for and celebrated by local communities. Even fewer are complete and undamaged, many of them being lost as communities have grown and time has passed, yet those that remain are touching reminders of those we have lost to war. Many significant road projects have been completed in recent years throughout our local community area, yet no avenues of honour have been planted.

I recently joined with the Minister for Roads and Road Safety on Memorial Drive, an avenue of honour in Berwick. It was a beautiful summer’s day, and the sunlight was filtering through gaps in the foliage of the tall trees that lined both sides of the street. I can just imagine how Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road would look with such an avenue. This link between Narre Warren and Cranbourne provides views to the beautiful Dandenongs and the surrounding new suburbs. Lined with appropriate and well-cared-for trees, it would be a sight to behold — a suitable tribute for those we must never forget and one that is particularly fitting as we approach the centenary of the Anzac landing at Gallipoli this year.

We can never repay the Anzacs for their sacrifice, but we can continue to pay tribute and ensure that they are never forgotten. Let us make Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road an avenue of honour that reflects our deep gratitude and admiration for all those who have served our nation.